S: Birthday Bash-Lake Powell 2012
BC: to Lake Powell
FC: Captain O'Captain | Captain Tallboy and Mary, his first mate
1: Brandon's 31st Birthday Bash and long time dream realized! | August 22, 2012
2: OUR OWN
5: Chil-lax Or
8: A last minute snafu kept the boys up working on Rodger’s Power boat until after midnight the night before our big adventure to Lake Powell for Brandon's 31st Birthday Bash. Confident that they had fixed the problem, we set off at 4 AM on August 22nd, 2012. Upon arrival, Brandon and Rodger went to launch the Power Boat while John and I received instructions on how to run our Deluxe 59 Foot Houseboat that was undoubtedly every bit as challenging to drive as it would be to drive an actual house. As soon as we walked on the boat, a crazy bat flew over our heads and settled in the curtains as if Boat S-39 was his home. Odd that a bat would be flying around in broad daylight. The instructor said he'd never had that happen before and he finally gave up trying to extract the bat from its hiding place in the curtain valence. It turns out he was not the only critter that lived on this boat. As I listened intently to the instructor, John took pictures of every scratch and ding on the boat so that it wouldn't be charged to our deposit. There were MANY things to take pictures of, as it turned out. I was shown the generator and how to emergency start it, how to operate the gas pump for water toys, how to access the huge engines and how to pull the props up out of the water. I received the short version of how to change a prop and was shown how to maintain the toilets with the little magic blueberries that would keep our boat smelling like a flower, for the first few days, anyway. There was also mention of how mice, smelling food, might come on board by walking up the anchor ropes. We were to deter their access with paper plates on the lines; and if that didn't work, there were mouse traps under the kitchen sink. All and all, there was a lot of information to absorb in a short time. We were just starting to go over the switch board, which had about a thousand switches on it, when Brandon ran onto the boat, sweat pouring down his face, announcing that we had to leave immediately to pick Rodger up. Apparently, his engine had died and he was floating down river at quite a clip. I said, "I hope he's going to be alright because we haven't even gotten to the part about how to start the engines let alone how to drive this monster.” We raced through the balance of the switch board and, as it turned out, missed a lot of information that would have been very helpful to know. Since the guy instructing us was not even an instructor, we also missed critical operating procedures for the generator, which was the heart of the boat and of utmost importance for our enjoyment. We pulled away with Brandon at the helm while Rodger tried to describe his location to me on our cells. "See those red hills over there?" Give me a clue, there are red hills everywhere." After a few minutes, exasperated, he hung up on me. This seemed odd behavior since we were his life line. In his defense, he had been floating aimlessly for about one hour. It was hot. He had no water, no food and only ice cold beer, which he couldn't drink. Dismayed by the fact that a new engine would cost thousands, compounded by the adrenaline from
9: drifting into the direct path of a ferry with only one ore to maneuver out of its way; he was not a happy camper! We were able to pull Rodger to shore and Brandon, with virtually no experience with this houseboat, did a great job docking the boat; not once but twice, within minutes after launching. In fact the dock crews, especially the girls, were very impressed! To complicate things greatly, he had to endure an engine that killed every time the throttle was shifted | from forward to neutral or reverse. This was a major disadvantage not only with docking but avoiding obstacles in the water, such as canyon walls. He also had his mother along with several other back seat drivers all pointing, pushing buttons or waving to get his attention. It was like having seven backseat drivers all in the front seat with you! Since we were only a few miles from Bullfrog, always the worrier and troubleshooter, I insisted we go back and have that engine checked while we waited there for Rodger to park his boat. The Mechanic added a sensor that in retrospect, only served to set off an alarm each time the right engine exceeded 3000 RPM's. We weaved our way down the channel with one engine never performing equal to the other. The mechanic waved from the dock and yelled, "call us if you have problems and we'll come to you". That little smile on his face was obviously because he knew the radio wouldn't work once we were over a mile away. So far, Brandon's birthday hadn't exactly been carefree but at last we were on our way at 4 P.M. Spotting a side canyon, the crew wanted to pull over for a swim to officially begin the celebration, including initiating the ‘shot ski’. We unknowingly pulled into a fast moving channel. Even though Mary & Kori panicked as they felt they were being | swept away by an undercurrent, the boys rescued them and everyone survived. We explored Annie's Canyon for a spot to camp. Annie's had three different off shoots, all fairly narrow but private. The wind came up as we explored our last option. The engine kept killing and we couldn't keep the boat headed straight with the wind hitting us broadside. Floating sideways down the canyon with the front of the boat nearly touching one wall while the rear nearly touched the other, we were quickly approaching a small rock island. With wide spread panic, everyone jumped into action mode. I ran to raise the props before we tore them off. John jumped off the boat and onto the island taking one anchor with him. I told him to pile rocks on the anchor and within minutes it looked like he had built a small house. Brandon had thrown another anchor to the front of the boat to keep us from drifting into the island. When Brandon tugged the anchor to make sure it was secure on the bottom of the lake, we
12: were dismayed to see the rope fly through the air; no longer attached to the anchor. We needed that anchor badly as it was deep in the channel and now there was nothing to hold the boat from hitting the island. As Brandon went over the side to join John on the island, he slipped and fell. All of us girls ran to the | side of he boat. We saw that there was blood running down his leg and it appeared he had hit his head because he wasn't standing up straight. John, afraid Brandon would try to hold that huge houseboat, ran over to make sure Brandon's leg wouldn't be caught beneath it. When he got there, he quickly discovered the reason Brandon was bent over was because his Coclear implant had become dislodged. Unfortunately, it had fallen into the water, which was certain death for an implant. Needless to say, with no insurance and faced with being unable to hear for the entire trip, Brandon was panicked. John quickly spotted the implant, threw it aboard, and the girls ran to tear it apart and dry it as best they could. Amazingly, John was able to locate the missing anchor and even more amazingly, he was able to swim to the surface with it. He was our Hero, which called for another round of shots once we were securely anchored. The Jagermeister flowed even more freely when Brandon discovered that his implant began to work again! What team | work!! We started dinner at 9 PM. By this time, I was looking for a hammer in which to hit myself over the head so I had a good excuse to go into 'time out'. It had been an incredibly long and stressful day! I went to bed to the sound of the kids sliding off the slide, which was only attached to the boat with one bolt. A loud 'kablam' echoed throughout the canyon followed by a resounding splash. I managed to fall asleep as everyone else partied on. A little later I heard a lot of scuffling around in the other room and in my sleepy haze; I thought the crew was just drunk, signing to each other quietly as they shuffled around the cabin. The next morning John said the bat had come out and was flying around their bedroom. Eventually, it flew out into the night. We found fruit with questionably large teeth marks, remnants of chewed cardboard box, a half eaten avocado and turds too large for a mouse. We speculated it must have been a fruit bat, if such a bat existed. The next night Rodger set a couple of mouse traps baited with chicken. I heard the same scuffling sounds and even some noise in the walls. The next morning both traps were sprung and strewn about as if thrown at the wall; and the chicken was gone. I'm thinking to myself, "we | Brandon shared that 2 birds had followed them for an entire hour while they played in the water with their various toys. As he told this story, I looked up and immediately spotted the beautiful shape of the above bird in the cliff wall. It looks like a lion's head directly above the bird's head. I love bird stories! | John shampooed and then rinsed by going off slide
13: got issues!" The issue finally revealed itself. We had a large, white rat that clearly owned Boat S-39. On day Two, thankfully we stayed in the same location, which was a relief to me. It was a peaceful, cloudy, misty day, and we just played with all of the water toys and enjoyed a relaxing day in our little beautiful, remote spot. There were lots of shot ski shots of Jagermeister and I joined in for a vodka red bull shot. We struggled to cook as our generator kept tripping whenever we used more than two burners but Rodger, our farmer from Kansas. luckily knew that there would be a reset button on the generator itself. We limped along but were intrepid and for every problem, we found a solution. And, there were MANY problems! Day Three, we played until 3 PM and then voted to go exploring. We continued South to Iceberg Canyon and just about gave up on finding a beach when there it was, just before sunset, a big beautiful beach for our black tie event. Yay! The mates worked really hard, decorating the beach with tiki lights and brought the table and chairs from the boat for dining on the sand. Everyone dressed up for yet another birthday celebration. We stabilized the back end of the boat with two anchors on each side pulled forward and buried on the beach. After a really great dinner of stroganoff with champagne, we enjoyed a beautiful fire. Finally we went back on the boat to change clothes. John & Sara went to bed, as did Rodger, while Brandon, Kori, Mary & I stayed up to watch a movie. During the movie, the wind really whipped up and we had to close the doors as it was seriously blowing things around the cabin. Brandon went out to check the anchors one last time and to put the fire out. What seemed to be only minutes later, John wandered through the room, rubbing his eyes barely able to see as he had fallen asleep with his contacts in. As he walked out the door, he mumbled something
16: I'm too sexy for my hat, too sexy for my boat , too sexy for my paddle!!! | I worried so much that I drove everyone nuts! I was grateful that I wasn't forced to ' walk the plank!' Thank God there wasn't an old one laying around! | It looks as if I'm starting to have an 'out of body experience!'
17: A rousing game of catch the bar of soap
20: about the beach. We figured he was really out of it and Brandon told him he had just been out to check the anchors. John went into the bathroom to take his contacts out. He came back and said, “it feels like we are moving.” He then walked out on the front boat deck again and this time asked, louder, “where ‘s the beach?" We all jumped up in a bit of a panic and ran to the door. We were totally shocked at what we saw. Now totally disoriented we were no longer sure. Where were we?
21: We had used the front boat ramp all evening to access the beach yet there was no beach to be seen in the front of the boat. Where the hell WAS the beach? We all ran to the back and there was certainly no beach there. Even though it was really dark, we could see that we were floating downstream at a frightening speed headed towards a canyon wall. Even though we couldn't see much, we noticed that all of the anchor lines were rapped around the props. I ran upstairs to wake Rodger, who was like the sleeping dead, and back downstairs to make sure NO ONE started those engines while Brandon
22: Where's the | ?? | ?? | Here It is!! A great beach at last! Check out this sunset! | This is the anchor. We will need to dig holes 2 ft deep & run 2 lines off the back of each side of the boat. The front of the boat is grounded upon the sand. Being Captain is serious business!
25: was untangling the ropes. I started the generator so that we could turn on the Bridge flood lights. This, unfortunately, freaked Brandon out when he felt the vibration and heard the engine. Brandon finally got the ropes untangled and then throwing them towards the beach; he jumped in and began swimming with them from what appeared to be the middle of the channel. I told Mary to watch him and let me know when he made it so that we could start the engines before we hit something. By this time Rodger, still half asleep and dazed, was trying to function at the helm. John and he were both trying to start the engines, which wouldn't start, of course, particularly because everyone was more or less in shock and panicked. Finally we got the engines running, but Sara, to her credit, remembered that you shouldn't run the generator at the same time as the engines. She quickly shut off the generator not realizing that this would throw us back into total darkness. Even though it was major chaos at times, we were a pretty great team, all in all. After we were once again safely anchored, we all went on the front deck of the boat and recounted our individual | experiences of what had just happened. Still high on adrenalin we couldn't stop laughing. It was difficult to believe that every one of us had gone on that front deck and stood there stupefied when we didn't see the beach. What a a trip that was! We wanted to have a power boat for one day so we used as a bargaining chip all of our collective stories including the engine that was not properly functioning, the bad instructions, which included mislabeled switches and incorrect operating instructions for the generator, and our ace in the hole, the rat! Yes, it was undoubtedly the rat that allowed us to bargain the Speed boat for overnight and almost an extra half day of use for a reduced price. Yay! The Power boat and cruising through the steep canyons and waterways at full speed was a blast! Everyone had a great time with the water toys and it was a perfect ending to a great trip!
29: and | Kori's first time skiing
30: The Ruins in Forgotten Canyon This Canyon was our favorite place for skiing and exploring with the power boat.